Italy TravelFlorence Cracking Down on Loitering Tourists

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Florence Cracking Down on Loitering Tourists
Published on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by

To discourage tourists from loitering, eating lunch and leaving trash on the steps of two of its most famous churches, Florence street cleaners will hose down the steps and prohibit people from entering the area. The Basilica di Santa Croce, where Michelangelo is buried, and the Chiesa di Santo Spirito – along with the streets of the city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site – will be affected daily around lunchtime.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella told The Guardian, “It’s not that eating a sandwich while walking along the street is banned or that people can’t sit down at other times. We want to put people off from camping out. If they sit down, they’ll get wet. Instead of imposing fines, we thought this measure was more elegant.”

Millions of visitors come to Florence each year, many of them day trippers arriving on cruise ships. In response to the influx of tourists, the mayor has implemented measures aimed at preserving Florence’s culture by requiring restaurants in the historic city center to use local food products that are typical of Florence and Tuscany. He also denied an application by McDonald’s to open a location in the iconic Piazza del Duomo.

Nardella said, “We have nothing against tourists. We know that they are a great resource for our city. But there is a problem with respecting decorum. The majority of visitors are respectful and elegant. But there has been an increase among those who don’t respect our cultural heritage, who sit down on church steps, eat their food and leave rubbish strewn on them.”

–Kathy McCabe

3 Responses
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    • i totally agree with this, Firenze is my favorite city in Italy. i see so many people trash the city\ty because of their hurry to get to the next site, or they camp out just to be seen and socialize for much too long. This is a magnificent piece of Italian history, and deserves to be respected that way. Thank you for this story. Ciao!

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    • I totally agree with this. How disrespectful for people to do this in this or any other magnificent Italian city. Would they like people to dump they garbage in their front yards?

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    • Bravo for addressing these issues for the sake of the City and for everyone else who wants to continue to enjoy these sites. I really applaud the proactive approach rather than punitive.

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